New Digital Piano

This is Andrew's new Yamaha Claninova Digital Piano which we bought during the year end Yamaha promotion. We sold our old Yamaha Digital Keyboard through ebay. The father & I were debating whether to get an acoustic piano or a digital piano. While an acoustic piano can possibly last him till Grade 8 & beyond, it doesnt provide the flexibility of other functions. The technology in digital piano is so advance now that the touch & feel of the keyboard is so close to the traditional acoustic piano. It also has many functions which can help to keep a yound child interested in piano. It can probably last AJ till Grade 3 or 4 only. After these considerations, we decided to get the digital piano instead. And when he advances to higher level, we will then switch to acoustic, when he is more sure with his direction on music.

The Yamaha Claninova Digital Piano is now his new toy. He meddled with the functions more than us & probably knows the features more than us.

Birthday Photos

We have been quite busy since the maid left us for good in mid Nov. I am also home schooling AJ for his Pre-nursery & Nursery years. This boy is so prone to falling sick so I think I had better take the opportunity to build up his immunity first before exposing him to community living.

These are the photos taken from his 3rd birthday celebration. I am hoping we can throw a party or something when he turns 4. We'll see how it goes.

Camera for Birthday Present

AJ gave me a pleasant surprise recently, one morning when I was in the bathroom. My ex-colleagues bought him a magnetic easel stand when he can write/draw on the white board with the markers or use the magnetic numbers/alphabets to form simple equations or words. That morning he made 99 + 2 = 101. I am pretty impressed. Even though in Kumon he was given the opportunity to learn up to 220 & is now doing addition of XX + 2 = XX, he hasn’t reached addition up to 3-digit yet. From this, it tells me that he has understood the addition of 2 regardless of the numbers. All thanks to Kumon’s learning materials.

AJ likes to take my mobile phone to snap photos, especially sequential shots. And I always had a hard time deleting them because there are simply too many. One day, he took my mobile phone to take photos again. But this time, more. He deleted ALL my notes stored on the phone and ALL my appointments. It was too late when I discovered it. From then onwards, I did not lend him my mobile phone any more. But I would still want him to enjoy snapping photos, to keep this hobby alive. So the husband & I agreed to buy him a camera for his birthday.

I went to Toys”R’us & saw 2 types of children camera. 1 for 3+ years old costing around S$130 & the other for 5+ at half the price. The former looks like a toy literally, the latter looks like a real camera. Which one do you think AJ would like? The ‘real’ one, of course. He has been playing with real mobile phones, why would he want to play his toy mobile phone?? So I bought the ‘real’ camera for him & get a surprise S$10 off as a Toys’R’us member :-D

We are going to celebrate AJ’s birthday on 7 Nov (Sat) with my sister’s family. Will upload some photos then.

School Suspended

AJ's bronchitis is back, just after 1 week of rest. He is like a walking bucket of mucus and phlegm. Sleep to him becomes a chore. He dislikes going to sleep now as the block nose will cause him breathing difficulty and his phlegm will cause him to cough and vomit. It is very painful to see him going through all these. We reckon that he is probably not ready for big community living, because I remembered he also fell sick after 3 consecutive days of VBS in my church during the June school holiday. So we called the school and requested for suspension till possibly Dec'09 or Jan'10. Thank God that the lady owner is fine with the arrangement. Meantime, i went to TCM Hall and get 冬虫夏草 for him. With regular intake, i hope it will help to strengthen his lung.

My Saviour's Love

Andrew was taught to sing this song because I am putting a video of him for my FEBC project presentation. Lyrics:

Stanza 1
I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene
And wonder how He could love me - a sinner condemned, unclean

How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be
How marvelous! How wonderful! Is my Saviour's love for me

Stanza 2
He took my sins and my sorrows, He made them His very own
He bore the burden to Calvary, and suffered and died alone


34-mth Old

Andrew started attending school on 1st Sept and he enjoys every moment of it! School has done him some good even though he has just attended it for a few days. He is now eating slightly faster, he puts on his own sandals and takes them off himself. He attempts to wash his hands himself properly. Credit goes to the teachers, they have been encouraging the children there to do these things themselves.

We went to KL/Genting during end of August. As it was raining cats and dogs in Genting during our 3D/2N there so we were restricted to Indoor Theme Park only. Anyway, AJ is too young to know what he has missed, so it didn’t really matter to us whether it is Indoor Theme Park or Outdoor Theme Park, although air is fresher outdoor.

AJ recently had bronchitis. It got me really worried. The poor boy was like a walking bucket of phlegm. The doctor has prescribed steroid for him as there was no better way out. Thank God he can breathe better now.

Time flies, AJ is 34 months old now. In the next 2 months, he will be celebrating his 3rd birthday. What greater joy can there be than to see happy healthy smiley child?

video video


AJ's New 4-Wheel Drive

We have given away AJ’s small tricycle as we think that he should be ready for a bike. I happened to go to Giant at Vivo last Saturday and saw this bike on offer. Wow! $49.90! I cannot resist but to get it at once because the size fits AJ nicely and the price is so attractive.

AJ saw this bike the moment I opened the door and he climbed up on it swiftly and confidently. I was relieved to see that his confidence level has gone up significantly. I think the swimming lessons and the trips to ExplorerKidz have helped in boosting it.

He can ride this bike pretty well, except he tends not to look straight, but all around. Thus, he may hit into pillars or other objects if there is no close supervision. But I guess, with constant reminder, he should be able to cycle with less close supervision.

One of my friends, Sin Wei, gave tips on how to teach a child to cycle in a week or so. Here’s what he said, “

want him to learn to cycle within 1-2 weeks? Remove the side wheels, remove the padels, lower his seat till both his feet can touch the floor. Let him sit and move forward by using his feet. Go around till he feels the technique of balancing. Once he is able to balance ie, both feet up and going down a gentle slope, put back the padels. He now is able to cycle and bring him for a celebration!"
We will definitely try on this tip once he is ready!

Practices on Keyboard

video video

Sentosa - Underwater World & Pink Dolphin Lagoon

1 of the advantages of stay at home mum (for me is work at home) is the flexibility of time. I can sign AJ up for enrichment classes during off peak hours (cheaper & better teacher to children ratio), bring him out to places of interest when it is less crowded.

The market was expected to be quiet on 2nd July (Thurs) so I decided to bring AJ to Sentosa Underwater World & the Pink Dolphin Lagoon. Just a half day outing because I would prefer him to have a proper nap at home in the afternoon. With his father’s corporate pass, our admission was free.

I think he enjoyed watching the stunts by the pink dolphins very much. When I asked if he would like to take a photo with the dolphins and touch them, his answer was ‘Yes’. But when I told him he has to get into the water to do that, he hesitated. He probably thought that he will be in the water alone. Anyway, we didn’t do that. We may be better off doing that when we visit Australia in the near future.

AJ has grown to be more assertive these days, insisting on what he wants. & if we told him that the cane will come if he disobeys us, he will cry first to win our hearts. Children these days are very good at manipulating parents.

But, overall, AJ is still quite an obedient child, & has a teachable spirit. He is also quite mature for his age. When I explain things to him, he will listen & will try not to do it again. When I told him that my back is aching I can't play certain games with him, or when I was carrying heavy stuff so I can't carry him & that he has to walk, he understands.
I am grateful to be able to be with him in his early childhood, & to play a part in nurturing him.


Amazing Grace

Andrew has been sick on/off thus we have delayed this recording. He could have caught a bug when he attended the church vacation bible school. He was down with fever, cough with phlegm and runny nose. After the healing of the first round of runny nose, he caught another one just few days later – poor boy.

We are hoping he could record the Chinese songs soon but his father has to search for the music first.


Funny Faces

Visit to Marina Barrage

Singapore‘s First Reservoir In The City

Marina Barrage, a project by PUB (Singapore‘s national water agency), is set to boost Singapore‘s water supply, alleviate flooding in the low-lying city areas and become a hot spot for recreational activities. We visited on 9 May 09. I will not be visiting it again until the whole construction work in Marina Bay is completed. Until you visit Marina Bay, you cannot imagine the scale of the constuction work that is going on there. It is dust, foreign workers, cranes, cement mixers, dump trucks ... ... everywhere.

Lord, here I take my cross

A song dedicated to late pastor - Rev (Dr) Timothy Tow. Thank God for his faithful service & steadfast faith.

Lord, here I take my cross now to follow thee.Worldy gain, empty fame, are but dross to me.Men may sneer, men may jeer, pain may come or stay.Naught can cause me to stray from the narrow way.Thru His word, by His grace, I would faithful be.Till at last, I reach home, there's a crown for me.A bright crown for me.Yes, a crown for me.


Car Logos & more

I introduced to AJ a series of car logos recently & it was a hit. He is absolutely obessed with the car logo cards, playing with them almost everyday. He knows every logo, & will be eager to look out for them when he is on the road. Off road, he will take his car logo card & pretend to drive. He will also invite us to drive, giving us a card each. So the family will drive different make of the cars together (how nice if it is real :-)).

Riding on this phenomenon, i did the flag cards, introducing him to the flags of different countries. It is also another hit, though not as hot as the car logos. He is able to tell the countries of those flags in English & Chinese (with a little help). How cool these cards are. Now I have to think - what's next?

In Remembrance of my Mother (II)

Time flies, it is the 2nd anniversary of my mother’s death. As I see AJ grows, I cant help but feel sad that I cant share this joy with her. Even until today, I still have this thought that I was partly the cause of her death. It is like the thorn in the flesh that Paul had which he wished that the Lord would remove but the Lord didn’t. It should remain with me, to keep me humble, reminding me that there is a sovereign God who controls everything.

The Lord's Prayer

This is AJ singing the Lord's Prayer. Not easy to get this recorded because he kept coming to the camera, curious to see what was being shot. We are preparing this for thanksgiving song presentation for our church anniversary.


AJ's First Watercolour Artwork

This is AJ's 1st piece of artwork with watercolours. Apparently he enjoyed playing with it.

Zoo-phonics School

AJ went for his zoo-phonics class today. After learning how to read with Glenn Doman teaching method, AJ is now able to read simple English book on his own. To expand his reading capability, we signed him up on phonics classes so that he can blend more words together to ease reading.

We enquired a few phonics schools but most will only take in children of 3 years up. However, we didn’t want to wait till then. Eventually, we came across Zoo-phonics, which takes in children of 18 months up. So AJ was off to this school.

We are not sure how effective it will be, thus we would try it out for 1 month or so before deciding whether this would be the school for him for this year.

After note: We have decided not to continue with Zoo-Phonics after 2 lessons on the following reasons though AJ enjoyed going - (1) The teachers do not speak proper conversational English; (2) 1 of the teachers' skimpy dresscode puts me off. She was wearing spaghetti-stripe sundress & fantastically short dress on the 2 occasions which I find is inappropriate & (3) The teacher was teaching the sound of ALL 26 alphabets in 1 go which I think even a genius cant remember that.

KL Trip 30 Jan to 2 Feb'09

We went KL during the CNY season to visit AJ's paternal grandparents. His grandfather was unwell but thank God he is regaining energy & is eating better. We flew up via Air Asia this time. After all the waiting & transfer, I reckon that it is better off driving up or taking a coach. The time taken was just not worth the price paid for the air tickets & transfer. Our next trip to KL would probably be in Aug/Sept. I am contemplating going there by coach ... ...

First Trial Swimming Lesson

AJ went for his first trial swimming lesson provided by aquaDucks at Suntec City. We are pretty comfortable with the coach. He is friendly & child-oriented. We like the way lesson was conducted. The coaching principle is primarily getting the child comfortable with water & enjoy playing with water. We like the class size. It is small, so every individual child gets sufficient attention. We are comfortable with the environment. It is a private pool, so there are lesser distractions. As such, we have decided to sign him up with aquaDucks instead of Happy Fish.


New Additions to Thomas & Friends' Collection

These are the 2 more items added to AJ's Thomas & Friends' collection. The train set was bought by James & Pauline. They passed them to me through my church's Deacon who went to Melbourne recently. The DVDs set was bought by Adeline. She saw my blog & passed this to Gina who has returned from Shanghai holiday. AJ has been kept busy with his collection.

Accident at the Playgorund

AJ had a minor accident this evening at the playground. He was climbing up the stairs to take the slide when a teenage boy, sitting on the horizontal railing on the slide, was about to come down. He lost his balance & fell. He hit AJ accidentally with his arm & AJ fell & knocked his lips against the stairs. Thank God that it was not serious. AJ now has swollen lips.

New Year 2009!

A new year has come, a terrible 2009 ahead with more economic contraction. I doubt Singaporeans have yet to feel the real impact of this severe economy downturn second to the Great Depression in 1930s. I believe more Singaporeans will feel it when the heavy layoff set in this year.

AJ is 2 years 2 months old now. He is getting more & more mischievous. His favourite phrase now is “I don’t’ want”. “I don’t want to eat … …”, “I don’t want to sleep”, “I don’t want to sit on the stroller” … … the list goes on. The only way to overcome his assertiveness is to be firm. Of course, the cry can melt your heart, still, if we are not firm, he knows that the limit can be tested over & over again.

I was a bit surprised to learn that he can now write/draw ‘1’, ‘0’, ‘一’, when the father showed me yesterday. So we got him to piece them together to form ‘10’, ‘100’, ‘二’, ‘三’ & ‘十’. It is very obvious that children love to learn. He was very happy he can ‘create’ those Chinese characters & numerals with 1’, ‘0’, ‘一’.

AJ is phobia of water. He likes to play with water in his bath tub, but he hates having water running down from his head. When he is in the swimming pool, he can be very apprehensive in putting his legs down in the shallow children’s pool. We then decided that it is timely to send this boy for swimming lessons to overcome this fear. So we have signed him up with Happy Fish Swimming Lesson which will commence on 7 Feb 09.

We are also sending him to this music class which we find it quite suitable to harness his interest in music (Seimpi School of Music).

I have been scouting around for Nursery for AJ to attend in 2010. Thus far, I have shortlisted two - the Montessori Playroom Kindergarten in Hougang and Pat’s Schoolhouse in Kovan. I have visited the former & am pretty comfortable with the teachers & the environment. My church friend, Melissa, who was a former Montessori teacher said that there are many Montessori counterfeit in the market because Montessori is not a trademark but this school seems very authentic to her. With that assurance, I shortlisted this. I have not been to the latter child care centre yet & will likely to do so in mid Jan as recommended by the centre principal.

There are some advantages of sending him to a half-day session in the Pat’s schoolhouse (Child Care Centre) because I need not worry about keeping him entertained during school holidays. But I still prefer Montessori teaching system. There is no authentic Montessori Child Care Centre in the market, sad to say.

We are also planning to move to a place nearer to the father’s workplace in 2010 so that his traveling time can be cut down. So the next thing in the agenda is researching on primary schools around the northern train track.